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Jon S. Davis named interim director of IGPA
U of I institute provides research, analysis to improve public policy

July 27, 2017

URBANA – Jon S. Davis, head of the nationally ranked accountancy department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been appointed interim director of the U of I Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA), Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara J. Wilson announced.

Davis will assume his new role at the U of I System’s public policy research institute in a designate capacity effective Aug. 16, pending formal approval by the Board of Trustees at its Sept. 7 meeting.

He succeeds Christopher Z. Mooney, who stepped down July 16 after four years as director to return to the political science faculty at the University of Illinois at Springfield, where he has served since 1999. He also remains on the IGPA faculty as the W. Russell Arrington Professor of State Politics.

Wilson said Davis will serve during a transitional phase for IGPA that involves developing a new funding model for the institute and expanding faculty involvement in research initiatives that provide nonpartisan, fact-based information to guide state policymakers.

“Jon’s leadership and policy-based research experience are an ideal fit to continue IGPA’s 70-year legacy of service to the people of Illinois,” Wilson said. “I am deeply grateful to him for sharing his talents to build on the foundation of excellence that Chris leaves behind.”

Since 2012, Davis has served as head of the Department of Accountancy and the R.C. Evans Endowed Chair in Business in Urbana-Champaign. His appointment as head marked a return to the College of Business, where he was an accountancy professor from 1994 to 2001 before serving as a professor and chairman of the Department of Accounting and Information Systems at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Davis, 59, announced earlier that he would step down as department head this summer and return to the faculty. Brooke Elliott, the Ernst & Young Distinguished Professor in Accountancy and a faculty member since 2003, will become head of the department effective Aug. 16.

Davis’s teaching and research focus on issues related to public tax policy and auditing, particularly in the area of regulatory compliance. He has held leadership positions with the American Taxation Association, the American Accounting Association, the Accounting Accreditation Committee of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and other professional organizations.

He earned his doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Arizona, and became a certified public accountant in 1981.

Created pursuant to a 1947 resolution of the Illinois General Assembly, IGPA is a public policy research organization based in all three cities served by the U of I System – Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign.

IGPA mobilizes the U of I System’s most accomplished public policy scholars to generate the evidence-based, nonpartisan analysis and information that are essential to a thoughtful and effective policy discussion in Illinois and beyond.


The University of Illinois System is a world leader in research and discovery, and the largest educational institution in the state with more than 81,000 students, 24,000 faculty and staff, and universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I System awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.